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Blaj (Romanian pronunciation: [blaʒ]; archaically spelled as Blaș; Hungarian: Balázsfalva; German: Blasendorf; Transylvanian Saxon: Blußendref) is a city in Alba County, Transylvania, Romania. It has a population of 20,630 inhabitants.

Greek-Catholic Cathedral
Coat of arms of Blaj
Coat of arms
Little Rome[citation needed]
Blaj is located in Romania
Location of Blaj
Coordinates: 46°10′31″N 23°54′52″E / 46.17528°N 23.91444°E / 46.17528; 23.91444Coordinates: 46°10′31″N 23°54′52″E / 46.17528°N 23.91444°E / 46.17528; 23.91444
Country Romania
CountyAlba County
 • MayorGheorghe Valentin Rotar (National Liberal Party)
 • Total98.93 km2 (38.20 sq mi)
 • Total20,630
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)

The landmark of the city is the fact that it was the principal religious and cultural center of the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church in Transylvania.



Blaj is first mentioned in 1271 as Villa Herbordi, after the deed of a Count Herbod. In 1313, the domain passed to Herbod's son Blasius Cserei. Started as a hamlet for the twenty families of servants of the noble's court, it was awarded town status on May 19, 1737.

Blaj is the principal religious and cultural center of Greek Catholics in Transylvania. At 27 October 1687 begins the history of the Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic, history directly connected to the history of the town Blaj. It all started at the end of the treaty through which Transylvania was entering under the protection of Austria, renouncing the protection of the Turkish Empire.

The first public school in Romanian was established in Blaj in 1754. Blaj was the first place to have Romanian written with Latin alphabet instead of Cyrillic in which it had traditionally been written. Blaj was also a center for the Romanian Age of Enlightenment, being the founding site of the Transylvanian School that promoted the Roman cultural heritage of the Romanians. Thus Blaj gained the nickname "The Little Rome"[1], as Romania's national poet Mihai Eminescu called it.

In 1848, Câmpia Libertății in Blaj was where over 40,000 Romanians met to protest Transylvania becoming a part of Hungary, holding that the lands would be stolen from them.[2]


Blaj lies at the confluence of the two Târnava Rivers, in a wine-growing region. The city has a continental temperate climate, characteristic for the Transylvanian Plateau, with moderate precipitations of around 550 mm/m2.


1930 4,618—    
1948 6,641+43.8%
1956 8,731+31.5%
1966 15,775+80.7%
1977 20,826+32.0%
1992 22,425+7.7%
2002 21,819−2.7%
2011 20,630−5.4%
Source: Census data


By ReligionEdit


The city administers eight villages: Deleni-Obârșie (Obursatanya), Flitești, Izvoarele (Csufud), Mănărade (Monora), Petrisat (Magyarpéterfalva), Spătac (Szászpatak), Tiur (Tűr) and Veza (Véza).


The castle of the Bethlen dynasty is a popular tourist site near Blaj. Other sights worth visiting include the Metropolitan Palace, the Holy Trinity Cathedral, the "Buna Vestire" Monastery, the Greeks' Church, the "Liberty Field", and Avram Iancu's oak.

Twin towns — Sister citiesEdit

Blaj is twinned with:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Blaj or "Little Rome", as Eminescu called it". AGERPRESS - the Romanian National News Agency. June 18, 2014. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
  2. ^ Stoica, Vasile (1919). The Roumanian Question: The Roumanians and their Lands. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh Printing Company. p. 23.

External linksEdit